The Award Goes To… Me?

Wondering if any ChattyAdmin readers watched the 2017 epic Oscars mistake that unfolded as the wrong film was awarded…. that uncomfortable, confusing moment that appeared on television being viewed of millions of people.

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On Friday, February 27… I had those same uncomfortable and confusing emotions arise as I read an email with a subject line “Congratulations!” With curiosity, I opened the email and noticed it was from the one and only Holly Firestone.

Shocked, confused, humbled, and honored and self-doubt heightened while I read the email.  I seriously read the email at least 3 times before I realizing I was being awarded Salesforce Winter 17 MVP.   I emailed Holly thanking her and the team.  I figured if there was a mistake of awarding the wrong “Kelly”,  that gave the team the opportunity to address it before I walked on “stage”.

Now,  that the week is settling down within the Success Community and Twitter, I want to write and thank all that have acknowledged my doings and the award of MVP.  Getting the MVP award is a great accomplishment and I am grateful… however I have learned it is a “way of being”.  Being able to looking deep inside and process these emotions tied to being nominated, let alone selected for MVP, is heart-felt recognition that I do not take lightly.

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I would like to share 4 ways how the Salesforce #Ohana Community has been a part of my growth, professionally and personally as I developed a better sense of “way of being”.

 

 

  1.  Identify Weakness, only brought forth Strength:  The Salesforce ecosystem and people within helped me gain confidence by asking questions and being okay with “asking”.  Pushing myself to try and learn new things.  Such as participating in “Radial Apex Developer” (free) program, I  quickly learned that I have not desire to write code. This also built level of knowledge about myself no ever writing code, but now being able to read and understand code.
  2. Tap into a great sense of Creativity:   By using my active listening skills and identifying business problems, I create solutions using Salesforce as platform.  As a Communication and Psychology  College major, I am drawn to resolving problems while understanding the people-side of business.
  3. Uncover my passion for educating and building a strong community:  Giving me the opportunity to lead Women In Tech chapter, has allowed me the opportunity build a stronger, supportive network which includes Allies.  Providing support and encouragement gives me a greater sense of “being”.  Thanks for all that participate.
  4. Ability to overcome fears:  This may seem like a strange one.  However, the community has been very supportive in allowing me to address my fear of public speaking.  I always worry that I will not have an answer, but I am okay with not having the answers all the time, and that is a way of “being”.  Where now today, I love leading group discussions and presenting in front of large groups.  Thank you for the opportunity for growth.

What I find most amazing are the people who want to help one another.  There are so many great resources provided by the Community such as podcasts, blogs, webinars and books all on Salesforce created and delivered from our people in the #Ohana.

I feel honored to be part of Salesforce #Ohana (MVP status or not). I sometimes wish that all of the world could follow this model of community by supporting one another and leading with our full hearts.

For those new or seasoned to Salesforce ecosystem thank you for all you have done and continue to do, it is a “way of being” that makes #Ohana so special.

Cheers~

Why Documentation?!?

Hey ChattyAdmin readers…. as mentioned in my last post I have organized A.GAME Consulting 3 part webinar series… FREE for the Salesforce community!

The first topic of Salesforce Documenting your org:  we will define what “TASK ARTICLES” are.  We will explore how Amy (fictional character) will look at how to identify what to document, format of document and where to store TASK ARTICLES.

Meet Amy:  Amy has been with the company less then 3 months supporting the Sales team. She calls leads, schedule appointments and builds email templates. Sales Manager noticed what a great job she was doing, decided to give her more responsibility.  Now, Amy helps the team by tracking data in Salesforce.  Since Amy is organized, data oriented and eager to learn. Where does Amy start?

I am excited to be partnering with fellow community #Ohana @Salesforce experts on Documentation.  I hope you will join us on the first webinar.  Seat will be limited.

Once you register, you will receive an email the next day with Join.Me details for Webinar and Call-in information.

Please register here:  Session 1: Salesforce Documentation Friday 2/3 12:00 p.m. CST

Cheers~

Get excited about Documentation!?!

Chatty Admin readers… hello to all.  I am so excited to have an opportunity to share that I will be doing a series of FREE Webinars on topics relating to Salesforce Documentation.

Yes, documentation.  There is not a lot to say about Documentation but you need to have it, right?!? Does your Salesforce instance have documentation already?  Is it updated? Does it overwhelm you to think about what to document?

Relating to any or all these concerns about Salesforce Documentation?  In the 3 FREE Webinar (series) hosted by A.GAME Consulting will offer steps on eliminating concerns and provide a starting point.

Please stay tuned and check out A.GAME Consulting. 

Cheers & Happy Holidays~

#GiveThanks

Happy Eating Day!  I would say Turkey day, however not all ChattyAdmin readers eat turkey.

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I want to give thanks to such a wonderful Salesforce Community!  Beginning of this month, Wisconsin Women In Tech hosted a #GiveThanks gathering.  We each brought canned goods to donate to local food pantry.  During this season, the pantry hands out over 3500 meals to families.  Our local WiT and WiT Supporters donated over 10 meals of canned goods!

This warms my heart… as we gathered to feast and give thanks, please think about how your community can “GiveThanks” for the months to come.

Thank you all who gathered, donated goods and monies contributions.  Keep Giving Salesforce Community…

By the way, A.GAME Consulting website is up and running! Check it out … Talk about feeling grateful, compassion and support from Salesforce Community, friends, and families INCLUDING my dear Olaf, during this new journey of starting my own buisness.  With Love!

Cheers

Wisconsin Salesforce WiT User Group & WiT Supporters step up in Community

In September, a Wisconsin User Group member wanted to do something special for Madison area community.  For those of you who do not know Andy Schmiechen,  I encourage you to follow him on twitter @AndySchmiechen or find him in the Salesforce Success Community.  He is an inspiration and go-getter within the Salesforce ecosystem and a supporter of Women In Tech!

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Right: @AndySchmiechen 

Enough about Andy, let’s get back to the ChattyAdmin post…

A small group of Wisconsin User Group members, helped out Habitat for Humanity of Dane County.  It was a great way to get our hands dirty, get a little sweaty and warm our hearts.  The turnout of volunteers from the Salesforce Community may have been a small number of people, but we made a HUGE impact.

What did we do as Volunteers?  Collectively, we painted exterior window trim and painted exterior doors. Let me tell you there were many windows!

Even had the opportunity to use power tools (yeah!) to remove a brick wall.  Talk about feeling unstoppable and focused?  Check out @JennyJBennett and @lrmiedema… kick butt!

We were determined to get the wall cleared away and with team work, we were able to accomplish such a task.  One person using the power drill (Yes, we took turns) and two others shoveling the gravel into the truck.  Did I mention, it was hot outside with sun betting down on us?

How long did we Volunteer for? The group thought we would be done early.  However, to our surprised, we worked full 8 hours in the hot sun.  Not only did it provide us an opportunity to step away from office, laptops, phones, demanding users and bosses… it provided us a chance to see a different kind of “hard labor”… glad to say, I work in technology.  I give props to those women and men who choose to work in labor industry.

Why Volunteer? Each person, may have their own reason for volunteering.  For me, ChattyAdmin, I strongly believe in the power of team work and giving back to my community.  It is a ‘feel good’ way to provide a helping hand.  I am someone who enjoys seeing immediate results.   As the impact provides the warm and fuzzy feelings, which sometimes can get lost in our everyday busy lives, we all tend to lead.

Who should Volunteer?  Anyone or everyone.  I believe in Salesforce 1:1:1 model.  For those readers who are not sure what1:1:1 model is, please check out http://www.salesforce.com/company/salesforceorg

  • 1% of a company’s time
  • 1% of its equity
  • 1% of its products/service are given forward to the community

I have made it my personal mission to incorporate 1:1:1: Model into A-GAME Consulting practice.  I am excited to share with you my journey as I look into the future of giving back.  I hope you will do the same too.

Cheers~

Where has @ChattyAdmn Been?

The last 6 months, there has been a lot of change occurring which has pulled me away from ChattyAdmin blog.  I apologize to my readers…. but I am sure everyone understands, life happens.

You may be asking yourself, @ChattyAdmn what changes?

  • First, the company decided to make a shift and allow us to work remote (out of our homes).  This was a scary but great change.  I never thought working remote would be productive.  Let me tell you, it is one of the best career shifts.  It has really taught me to prioritize and focus on what needs to get done.  I found that using other technology tools (google hangout, messaging) allows for co-workers to stay connected, just like when in the office.  I remember being in the office space, and disrupting others around me when asking a question to peers.  (Not effective).

Working remotely, meant I needed my own working space.  I am lucky enough to have a space bedroom, which I converted into my office.  This was fun.  I was able to paint and decorate it for me… for those that know me, my favorite color is purple (for creativity)… which yes, I painted all the office walls purple.  Check it out for yourself….Of course, now I can display all my Salesforce swag along with other Salesforce items:

Salesforce pictures taken over the years; Yes, Salesforce WiT poster (formerly known as Girly Geeks), and Salesforce certificates.  This is my space which allows me to be creative, focused, and stay centered.

  • The second shift happened when the company decided to dissolve the business.  Luckily, our team of three, were very transparent through what could have been  a difficult process. With amazement, it was a blessing.  The team spoke about how to transition existing clients, provided each other job leads, and be a great support network.  I have so much respect for the team and decisions that were made (which were not easy one).

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Which is why I am going to give shout outs:

@lifewithRyan (Ryan Headley):  You rock! With his patience and determination, Ryan taught me more about Dev world.  Thank for teaching me the ropes of consulting space, and being my side kick through all Salesforce Community  fun projects we accomplished over the last years….  to name a couple… Wisconsin #Trailhead Workshop and #TrailOnTheRoad Chicago. Let the projects continue!

@KevinSwiggum (Kevin Swiggum):   Thank you!  For believing in me and hiring me as your first employee in 2013.  I am grateful for meeting you in  2011 at (my first) Wisconsin User Group.  I recall it clearly.  Sitting at a table, we were introducing ourselves and I mentioned “I am a Salesforce Admin and our company is seeking a consultant.” At that very moment, all the eyes shifted to Kevin.  From that point on, you have inspired me to continue learning and pushing myself to limits (in a good way), supportive and a great friend.

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  • The third shift is currently happening.  I am in the process of starting my very own Salesforce Consulting company.  Yes!

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A.GAME Consulting is more than consultants doing Salesforce  implementation, data migration, integrations or Salesforce projects. A.GAME Consulting vision: building long-lasting relationships with Customers.

However,  we want Salesforce Customers to understand the value of the People . Process . Technology. You may be asking yourself, what does “A” in A.GAME Consulting stand for?  It is simple, Analyst .  Advisor . Advocate for Administrators, which is our approach for Customers to understand the key elements of successful orgs.

People. It is great  companies see the need and invest in Salesforce.  However, many times from my consulting experiences and working in corporate america, companies do not realize the investment needed for resourcing (people) to keep Salesforce running successfully.

Process.  It is criterial for company stakeholders to know how they can leverage Salesforce and have a vision (or roadmap plan).  Therefore, key to know and understand company processes will change, which then changes Salesforce processes.

Technology.  Salesforce as a tool, is evolving regularly.  This is based on customer feedback / needs / desires.  Salesforce has three major releases a year.  Which means, customers need to have people and process in place in order to see success with Salesforce.

Exciting news:  A.GAME Consulting website is almost complete!  Once the website is done, I will post here on ChattyAdmin blog … please stay tuned.  Also, thank you for understanding my absence in blogging.

Cheers~

“Salesforcer”: 5 TIPS help Prioritize for the New Year

With 2015 behind us, let’s prepare for the New Year for “Salesforcer” success.

The New Year is going to bring new Salesforce needs, requests, desires, have-to- haves, want-to-haves and well this means more work will need to be done.  How do you juggle all these different requests that need to get completed?  How are you tracking these?  Who decides what needs to get done?

In this post, I will share some of the successful tips and tricks I have learned throughout my Salesforce career… some good and well… some not so good.

Tip #1: Document ALL requests that come to you via email, phone and water cooler conversations.   

It does not matter if it is a small request or something you can do when you get back to your seat. Document…Document…Document.  You will see a little later why it is so important to document the request.

What to document?

  • Date you received the request
  • Description of the request
  • Who made the request
  • Category (covered later in the post)

Where to document?  You could always use a spreadsheet or word doc.  Better yet, use Salesforce Cases (Create a new category value “Salesforce Requests”. Boom.  Super slick to build reports and dashboards to present to management/users.)

Tip #2:  Prioritize Requests using Matrix

I have used the Covey Time Management Matrix a million times.  Especially when I begin to feel overwhelmed of things I need to get done.  First think about “who made the request” and then look at is it a “quick win” (easy and fast tasks to knock off the list).  During this step, you may need to dig a little deeper in conversations to really learn what is requested.  Trust me; if you don’t understand the request always ask for more insight.  I have learned the hard way and did not follow up on requests and ended up causing me more time.

Then, label request on the tracker as Urgent/Important; Not Urgent/Important; Urgent/Not Important; Not Urgent/Not Important.

Slide1http://www.usgs.gov/humancapital/documents/TimeManagementGrid.pdf

Tip #3:  Talk to your users, stakeholders, management teams.

Make sure you talk to other users regarding requests to see if the request is important, maybe you will discover there is more to that one request, which could turn into a “project”.   Again, if you learn about a new request, make sure to document it on your tracker.

Tip#4:  Categorize Requests

Now, this is the fun part.  As you collect and document requests, begin to categorize the requests.  I like to think of this as putting them into Salesforce buckets.  Are these many requests tied to one Salesforce Object… like Opportunities?  For example, request of Opportunity reports / dashboard, also a request of email notifications when an Opportunity is closed won to owner and Account owner or maybe there is a need for validation rule.  Put these together, in one category … Opportunity Enhancements.

Tip #5:  Salesforce Road Map

Since you were able track / document requests, identify level of importance, and categorize the request, you are ready to build out the Salesforce Road Map.   Using the Categories you created, you may want to revisit the Covey Time Management Matrix to determine which is most import.  You will plan out and create a visual diagram for the year of major categories (projects) on a timeline.  There are many different styles of road maps based on your project approach.  However, to keep it simple, I like to use this style road map when presenting to management and SSME.Slide1

  1. Once you have the Saleforce road map drafted, approach management and executive teams to ensure the map is aligned with company/department goals.  This gives them the opportunity to help re-prioritize before you start working on these items.
  2. Next, if you have a SSME (Salesforce Subject Matter Experts) group (see earlier post about the importance of SSME) run the road map by them.  This always, helps to make sure everyone is on the same page and agree with what will be worked on this year.

This is something I learned later on in my Salesforce career… it truly helped me stay focused on what I needed to work on.  Anytime, my manager would approach me with a “new project”, I would pull out road map diagram and ask where she would like it to fit into the road map.  Allowing for conversation to happen around timeframe/deadline and what can get pushed out.

Plus, having these tools in your tool belt will be very useful during your performance review! (Hint Hint)

Cheers~  Happy New Year.

How to support Women In Tech (Girly Geeks)

Point 1:  Understand WHY Girly Geeks Chapters are working

Women Don’t Ask, by Linda Babcock looks at many women studies, but one I have to chat about.

You have heard about “Fight or Flight”?   Researchers believed that everyone responded in the same way to stress.  Danger triggered a physiological reaction that motivated a person to either fight the source or flee…

Later on “researchers Shelley Talyor and Laura Klien noticed that females and males colleagues behaved differently in challenging situations.  There was this joke that when the women who worked in the lab were stressed, they came in, cleaned the lab, had coffee and bonded… when the men were stressed, they holded up somewhere on their own”.

This led Talyor and Klien to revisit the research and found the vast majority of the stress results were from males (90%).  Talyor and Klien then looked closer at whether or not females respond to stress in the same way that men do.

While I was reading this chapter, I pulled out my highlighter and began highlighting “key words”.  Maybe this is something you are aware of already, but I found it to be enlightening.

How are these Key words related? 

Fight-or-Flight; Oxytocin; Testosterone; Calming effect; Social-bonding; Bloodstream

What does this have to do with Male or Female? 

Apparently these researchers learned that men and women might react differently to stressful situations due to the hormone oxytocin.  Oxytocin is released into the blood stream of both men and women “during extreme stress and it provides calming effect and promotes caretaking and social -bonding behaviors”.

“Testosterone reduces this effect of oxytocin and men have a lot of testosterone, the release of oxytocin into the their systems has little impact on their fight or flight response. Women have much lower levels of testosterone that men do and much higher levels of estrogen, which magnifies the effects of oxytocin” stated by the author.

Babcock continues to explain, “As a result women release of oxytocin into their bloodstreams can block the fight or flight response and prompt them instead to reach out for social support.”  This finding led Taylor and Klien to dub the female version of stress response “tend and befriend”.

From my point of view, I strongly agree that women need supportive environment and this research helped me understand the true difference between Men and Women.

Point 2:  After you understand, get involved.  How? 

I am surprised how many men say “I wish there was something like this for us” or “can I come to Girly Geek meeting”.   There are many different ways men can support women and get involved in Girly Geeks.

Share your knowledge:  Offer to present topic at the next Girly Geek chapter meet up.   WI Girly Geeks is excited to have @Brian Kwong (aka The Wizard) do a hands-on workshop on flow and processor builder.  Super excited!

Join forces:  I am lucky to work with WI User Group leaders who want to support and help Girly Geeks in any way or shape possible.  Together, we are organizing a “User Group & Girly Geek picnic”.  Making memories!

Spread the word:  Men can show support by talking with women in the Salesforce space by encouraging women to participate in their local Girly Geeks.  I have had a couple men recruit new Women In Tech and/or provide introductions.  Welcome Friends!

Become a Mentor:  Take the time and mentor a fellow woman in tech.  Teach them what you know and share experiences.  I am lucky to have @Ryan Headley as co-worker in the office… who helps me everyday.  Even if it is bouncing ideas around,  troubleshooting, or reviewing my damn formulas.

Join the Conservation:  My favorite way for men to support Girly Geeks is to be part of the conversation!  Figure out a way for you to support Women In Tech and act on it!

I strongly believe Men need to be part of the solution to increase the number of Women in Tech jobs.

CHEERS~

Girly Geeks is NOT

Girly Geeks chapters are NOT all alike. ~  This is my disclaimer, what is great about Girly Geeks is the flexibility in running the group that best fits based on the group size, participants’ purpose, and chapter objective.  In this blog post, I am speaking in regards to WI Girly Geek Chapter and our vision of the group.

Girly Geeks is NOT exclusionary ~ we do not want people to feel unwelcomed.  If someone (anyone) feels unwelcome, I would encourage him or her to reach out to the local Girly Geek chapter leader and have conversations on how they can get involved and/or support Girly Geeks.

Girly Geeks topics are NOT Women specific all the time ~ Correct.  Men may be interested in some of the topics we have had presented.  Which I will be looking at this closer and work directly with WI User Group Leaders to see about have such topics presented at next User Group further meetings.  However, on the flip side, majority of topics are specific to Women.  For example:  I am facilitating a Book Club (2 book series) specifically around why “Women Don’t Ask” and how “to Ask”.  I am not going to apologize for not inviting men to participate in the book club, as this is specific to Women audience.  With that said if a man approached me and wanted to participate, I would gladly welcome it.

Girly Geeks is NOT all about drinking ~ Please do not get me wrong, cocktails are fun and I do enjoy them once in a while.  However, I do not want people to think it is all about having drinks.  I will say it helps set the stage that Girly Geeks is informal and more relaxed, hoping to increase participation.

Girly Geeks is NOT all about being Social ~ There is a social aspect and networking in person, however many chapters are creating more structure to the meetup… including topics, agenda and take away actions.  I can say, WI Girly Geeks was very structured in the beginning and now that we have built friendships we are doing more social things… like having dinners, attending Women Conference events and workshops together.  I have heard a few Chapters doing paint nights and bowling.  Again, each chapter is different.

Girly Geeks is NOT just for Admins ~ I am surprised how people have thought that Admins would benefit from attending a Girly Geek meetup.  Which I am very surprise at the diversity within WI Girly Geek chapter… Project Managers, Business Analyst, Admins, Trainers and Developers… that are exciting as we each bring a different view of Salesforce to our discussions.

Girly Geeks is NOT a bitch session ~ Girly Geeks are supportive networks.  I may be lying if I say there is not any complaining that occurs during meetup… If someone is struggling, I believe it is the Girly Geek leader responsibility to facilitate the conversation, engage others and come up with a solution/options.  I have a personal rule, give them 2 minutes and then look for others to get involved and provide suggestions and end the conversation with a positive. 

Next topic:

How to support your local Girly Geek Chapters.  Cheers!